Pro Wrestling: Rick Rubin’s Playful Escape

Wrestling intermingles reality with fiction in a way that captivates. The conversation between Andrew Huberman and Rick Rubin brought a new perspective: wrestling isn’t just a remnant of childhood. It’s a layered journey into human emotions and perceptions, especially during puberty, when reality seems most malleable.

Recall characters like Coco Beware or George the Animal Steel. Their stories may be choreographed, yet they still challenge our sense of reality. 

Rubin suggests wrestling keeps a playful tone. It tells us that surprises lurk in every corner. It’s similar to the elusive burst of energy we feel during a creative streak.

Wrestling entrances us, making us forget fixed rules and expect the unexpected. It mirrors the creative process, where inspiration strikes without warning. 

Within these moments, creators and wrestlers alike wade through a sea of uncertainty, chasing a novel idea or an unprecedented move.

But there’s a hidden layer to this spectacle: dopamine. This key neurochemical is linked with pleasure, anticipation, and reward. 

Wrestling manipulates our dopamine responses, much like a punchline to a joke or the suspense in sports. Huberman draws parallels here. This hormonal interplay hooks us, echoing the rhythm of life itself with its peaks and valleys.

In wrestling, the line between fact and fiction is fluid. As Rubin observes, narratives often incorporate real-life events. This duality reflects our own world, where ‘facts’ are frequently a mix of truth and crafted stories.

So, why does this matter? Wrestling mirrors our cultural narrative. It’s both a representation and an escape. 

The clearly staged drama and overt personas invite viewers to a world that acknowledges its fabricated nature. This blatant honesty offers a peculiar comfort. It’s transparent, unlike the often nebulous origins of stories in our everyday lives.

At its core, wrestling is a cathartic release. It fuels the creative spark in both the wrestlers and viewers. It’s a stage for shared myths, a space where archetypes thrive and human nature is laid bare.

Wrestling, Style & Performance

Huberman mentioned Lars Frederickson from punk band Rancid. Frederickson, like Huberman, lacked local sports teams. They found their passion in the spectacle of wrestling on TV instead. Both skateboarding and wrestling celebrate style—not just skill, but flair and aesthetics.

For skaters, style is paramount. It’s not just nailing the trick; it’s the execution that matters. Wrestling shares this ethos. The wrestler’s charisma and storytelling are vital to captivating the audience.

Rick Rubin agreed. Wrestling combines athletic excellence, narrative, and the wrestler’s magnetic persona. 

Fans are drawn to these heroic characters, whose stories spark an emotional rollercoaster of reactions.

The podcast noted a key aspect of wrestling: its unpredictability. Unlike opera, with predetermined endings, wrestling’s outcomes shift with actual events. Injuries can alter storylines on the spot, adding a raw edge of immediacy and improvisation.

Huberman and Rubin concluded that wrestling is unique. It’s a sport encased in performance art, with each match fusing athletic displays and spontaneous storylines. 

The lure of wrestling lies in this mix of uncertainty, aesthetics, and ever-evolving drama—a performance where each movement alters the narrative’s fabric.

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